Hi Crystal-Rain and welcome. I am so glad you could join us here at RomanceJunkies. To start, will you please tell us a little bit about your current projects?
Currently, I'm working on the 4th installment of my BLOOD REVELATION series, which is a paranormal series revolving around a prophesy foretelling of immortals who are destined to save the world from Satan's wrath. The first, BLOOD CURSE, should be available by the end of January. I'm also finishing up edits on MOONLIT WATCHER, the second book in my MOONLIT series. It was selected as part of www.AllRomanceeBooks.com's28 Days of Heart campaign and will be released in February with proceeds going to the American Heart Association. I should be receiving galleys soon for GUARDIAN COWBOY, a contemporary romance to be released in 2010 by The Wild Rose Press, and I'm also working on two contemporaries and another paranormal romance.
When are you the most creative? Since you work full-time and have a family, do you have a set writing schedule, or sneak it in when you can?
I actually lost my job at the end of August so I've made tremendous progress as far as cranking out the goods this year. That's the only reason why I'm managing working on four manuscripts while editing two others. Right now I mostly write when my kids are at school or/and late at night. Once I find employment I'll probably go back to squeezing it in whenever possible (and I'll most likely go back to working on one thing at a time).
A new writer just starting out asks you for advice on how she can become published. What do you tell her?
Write the book. Get a critique partner to go over it so you can correct problems and polish to a shine, then submit it to publishers interested in the genre you've just written. eHarlequin.comis a great resource for new romance authors trying to get their foot in the door. That's where I learned quite a bit and found my critique partners.
Rejection is a part of the business. What is your secret for dealing with it?
You just have to brush it off and realize it's part of the game. Fortunately, I never let it get to me. I knew of several extremely talented authors who were rejected over and over before finally getting published. Knowing that helped me to see each rejection as a good thing. I viewed them as stepping-stones toward what I wanted.
What is the one thing about the way you write that you wish you could change but know you probably never will?
I wish I could plot out a story and just steamroll through it, but sadly that just doesn't work. If I try to outline what I'm working on in any way it seems to zap the creativity and interest right out of me. I have to start with an idea, one or two scenes in my head, and just find my way from beginning to end with no map. Even with my paranormal series, I knew the beginning and I know the end. The rest... is a mystery. There are scenes fully created throughout that are lodged in my head so I know how to stay on the path but I couldn't begin to tell you how many twists and turns I'll take to reach the finish line.
What do you like to do in your spare time? Have any special hobbies or collections? What is the one project that you’d love to take up someday in the future?
I read a lot and I'm an Internet junkie. I love playing The Sims, Farmville, and Farm Town. I'm obsessed with Supernatural and David Cook, and I'm a pretty good cake decorator. Someday I'd like to catch up on the scrapbooks I started for my kids years ago.
Who is the person who has had the biggest influence on your life? Whom will you pass this “influence” on to?
I would guess my dad as he is the only person I ever cared about impressing. He was a very good person, and a great father. I hope I am to my children what he was to me.
I also had a teacher that I feel I was blessed to receive for junior and senior English in high school. Dr. Dee Hawkins was the person who encouraged me to hold on to my dream and taught me how to really paint a picture with words. Without her, I might have never gained the faith in myself that I needed to put my work out into the world.
For you, what three attributes make up the “perfect real-life-guy hero”?
Hmmm.... It sounds shallow, I know, but if he's "perfect" then he does have to be very attractive. He also needs to be considerate. A considerate man will be loyal and honest at all times. A considerate man will put others first and do the right thing. And he needs to be strong. By strong, I don't mean only in the physical sense. While that's good, his mind needs to be strong, too, so he can be a leader and stay true to his spiritual beliefs and what he knows is right.
What is the best way to spend a quiet evening at home?
With three kids, I can't recall ever having a quiet night at home. ( - ; Hmm... Good books, or a nice movie that I can watch with my family.
How do you describe Crystal-Rain Love? How do Crystal-Rain Love’s family and friends describe her?
I describe me as laid back unless I'm pushed into a corner, creative, loyal, and a little wacky. As far as how my family would describe me, I asked my brother and he summed me up in one word: buttmunch. So there you go...
If you had to choose between a beach, jungle or desert vacation which would you choose and why?
Yikes. I burn too easily so the desert is definitely out. Something might eat me in the jungle, so looks like I'm choosing the beach... but I'm wearing jeans and a T-shirt.
Name the one thing in your closet that should have been tossed long ago…but never will be.
My prom dress. I didn't even want to go to my prom and overall it was a pretty sucky night, but that dress was killer.
The sundae glasses are ready, the spoons are by their sides. All the fixin’s are lined up…Make us your favorite sundae!
Oh happy happy joy joy. Mama loves the ice cream... Let's see, there are scoops of Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia and Cake Batter ice cream along with HomeMade Brand's Cookies N Cream. Hot fudge is poured over that followed with little pieces of crushed Oreos and a cherry on top.
When you were a little girl, what was your favorite color? What is your favorite color as a big girl today?
For some reason I loved purple. My bedroom walls were purple, I had all these purple stuffed animals, every thing I owned was purple. Now, I don't really have one favorite color, but I tend to gravitate toward black, white, hunter green, navy blue, pink, and burgundy. NO purple. Yet my cell phone is purple. Go figure. At least it's a dark purple and not that icky lavender that I was obsessed with as a kid.
And lastly, no interview of a writer would be complete without this question: what is your favorite comfort food?
Did you miss my happy happy joy joy moment over the earlier ice cream question? I repeat: Mama loves the ice cream. ( - ;
So, do I! Thank you, Crystal-Rain, for spending time with us. Good luck with your writing, and the job hunt!